Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe was nervous watching Daniel Johnson's penalty technique for the first time

Ryan Lowe got his first look at Daniel Johnson’s penalty technique in Preston North End’s FA Cup defeat to Cardiff and admitted it made him nervous for a moment.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 10th January 2022, 12:30 pm

Johnson tucked the spot-kick away, his 18th successive penalty in PNE colours.

North End supporters are used to what the midfield does ahead of taking a penalty.

There is the crouch down as he places the ball, with him watching the keeper.

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Daniel Johnson prepares to take Preston North End's penalty against Cardiff City

Then it’s the backward steps to where he will start his run-up from.

Lilywhites manager Lowe said: “I was worried when DJ was almost on his knees, I wondered what he was doing!

“That’s his game, that his penalty, whatever he decides to do I don’t care as long as it goes into the back of the net.”

Unfortunately Johnson’s penalty couldn’t keep North End in the FA Cup.

PNE midfielder Daniel Johnson goes down with cramp in extra-time against Cardiff City

His 54th-minute goal made it 1-1 and ultimately took the game into extra time.

It was Cardiff who won it with a 116th-minute goal from substitute Mark Harris.

Johnson has certainly got a fresh lease of life from Lowe’s arrival at PNE.

He was Preston’s best player at Cardiff, likewise in last week’s 2-1 victory against Stoke City. In Lowe’s first game, the 2-1 win over Barnsley, Johnson scored and claimed an assist.

He had Ali McCann for company in the attacking midfield roles at Cardiff, Lowe choosing to look at the Northern Ireland international after using Alan Browne there in his opening two games.

Josh Harrop came off the bench to replace McCann in the second half as Lowe dipped into the squad.

Johnson didn’t finish the game, suffering a bout of cramp at the end of the first period of extra time.

He tried the usual extended leg stretches to ease it but was clearly struggling, Browne replacing him.

Patrick Bauer and Josh Earl also got cramp in the latter stages as the cup tie went the full distance.

Lowe does not foresee any issues with the trio in terms of making this Saturday’s game against Birmingham.

Said Lowe: “Josh Earl was struggling with cramp, DJ had to come off, Pat Bauer had it.

“When a game goes to 120 minutes you’re going to see that. We’ve got a clear week to make sure they recover.

“The main thing is they are ready for Thursday and Friday when we do our work for the Birmingham game.”

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